Colorado DA calls for review of 110-year sentence for truck driver in fatal crash

A Colorado prosecutor has requested a hearing to consider whether a 110-year prison sentence for a truck driver who killed four people in a crash in 2019 should stand.

The man, Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 26, received a lengthy sentence last week due to state laws that require sentences for certain crimes to be served consecutively or consecutively.

The over 100-year sentence was quickly criticized by some and prompted calls for a reduction. More than 4.6 million people have signed a petition calling on Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat, to grant clemency or commute the sentence.

The first judicial district attorney, Alexis King, on Friday filed a motion for a hearing to reconsider the sentence under the state’s mandatory minimum law.

“The law also allows the Court to reconsider his sentence in an exceptional case involving unusual and extenuating circumstances,” the petition reads.

Aguilera-Mederos, who was hauling lumber in a tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 on April 25, 2019, said its brakes failed before crashing into traffic that had been stopped for another accident in Lakewood. A fire broke out, engulfing vehicles.

Doyle Harrison, 61; William Bailey, 67; Stanley Politano, 69; and Miguel Lamas Arrellano, 24, were killed.

The chain reaction accident and fire involved 28 vehicles. The semi was traveling at about 84 mph before the accident.

Workers clear debris from eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 in Lakewood, Colorado, April 26, 2019, after a fatal pile-up involving a semi-truck carrying lumber.David Zalubowski / AP folder

Prosecutors argued that Aguilera-Mederos had chances of preventing the accident he did not suffer, such as not taking a runaway truck ramp and choosing not to hit a large semi. -trailer which was stopped on the shoulder.

In sentencing Aguilera-Mederos on December 13, Judge A. Bruce Jones said he was bound by state law.

“If I had the discretion, if I thought I had the discretion, I wouldn’t be carrying out these sentences consecutively,” Jones said.

Jones said he recognizes Aguilera-Mederos did not intend to hurt anyone, “but he made a series of terrible decisions, reckless decisions” and deserved a prison sentence.

A police affidavit indicates that Aguilera-Mederos told an investigator that he drove to the shoulder and saw that it was blocked by a stationary tractor-trailer, then that ‘he swerved into the traffic lanes.

Aguilera-Mederos said he never decided to head for traffic but tried to use a gap between the truck and the car next to it on the left, the NBC affiliate reported. KUSA of Denver at trial.

During the conviction, Aguilera-Mederos tearfully described the accident as a terrible accident. “I apologize to everyone involved,” he said.

A jury found him guilty in October of 27 counts, including four counts of homicide and driving, six counts of first degree assault and 10 counts of attempted first degree assault, some of which were subject to sentencing rules.

The charges were laid by a former district attorney. King told KUSA that the facts and the aftermath of the case are extraordinary enough to support them.

She told the station in a statement that her office had entered into plea negotiations “but Mr. Aguilera-Mederos refused to consider anything other than a ticket.” When sentencing, they asked for the minimum under the law, the statement said.

The sentencing law requires a report from the prison service before it can be reviewed. The prosecutor’s office said Tuesday in a motion that could be completed Thursday, and it has requested an expedited hearing.

Survivors of the crash and families of the victims want the opportunity to be heard on a sentence modification, Tuesday’s motion said.

Among those who called on Polis, the governor, to act was Kim Kardashian West, who tweeted Tuesday that she hopes he commutes the sentence. To commute a sentence is to reduce it, while clemency also covers pardons.

A spokesperson for Polis said on Tuesday: “We have just received the request from Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, and our legal team is currently reviewing it. Once we’ve made a decision, we’ll make an announcement.



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